The Guatemalan government is advancing its investigation of President Jimmy Morales and his alleged involvement in illicit financial transactions and possible money laundering between 2015 and 2016.
As part of the investigation, the Public Ministry, MP, has requested Morales’ official registry as president of the republic from the Guatemalan Supreme Court.
MP officials said the request was in direct relation to their ongoing joint investigation with the U.N. International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, CICIG, of possible money laundering within the president’s party, the National Convergence Front, FCN, in 2015 and 2016.
So far, the MP and other government departments found three suspicious accounting transactions within the FCN during the 2015-2016 timeframe. Morales is connected to two suspicious transactions in 2015 when as he was the FCN’s secretary general.
The first transaction occurred when the current FCN director received an unaccounted for US$31,480 from other FCN members. Morales is also connected to a “hidden” US$900,000 within the political party.
The MP and CICIG have tried to advance investigations into the president’s connection to these transactions and charges of possible money laundering, but the Guatemalan Congress passed emergency measures last week protecting the president’s impunity, making it harder to question him.
Apart from these investigations, Morales is under fire for receiving a monthly “bonus” since Dec. 2016 from the national military that totals over US$60,000. The civil society group, Mutual Help, made a formal request to the MP yesterday for the entity to investigate military officials. Included is Minister of Defense Williams Mansilla, who publicly defended the president’s bonus.
Mutual Help told EFE that the payments are “fraudulent” and are only allowed for military personnel, to which the president doesn’t belong.
The president’s spokesperson said that the president returned nearly the total amount of the monthly bonuses last week.